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Self Pity

It seems like everywhere I look lately, I’m seeing something about how no one should indulge in self pity.  It’s dangerous to your mental health, & a sign of weakness & immaturity, etc. etc.

I respectfully disagree.

While constantly feeling sorry for one’s self can lead to depression of course, I believe there are times where self pity is normal &, dare I say, even healthy.

–When someone you love dies, why do you grieve?  Because you miss that person.  That is perfectly normal! 

–When you & your first love broke up, you felt sorry for yourself because you were hurting.   That too, is perfectly normal.

–And, when you learn that your childhood wasn’t normal, but abusive, you’re going to feel sorry for yourself sometimes.  That is completely normal, especially on days when you wake up from nightmares or someone says something that reminds you of your abusive parent, causing you tremendous anxiety.

Although for many years, I shared the common mindset of the dangers of self pity, I have come to realize that it is wrong- self pity is a necessary part of life.  It’s a normal part of the grief process, & it helps you learn from painful experiences.   It also motivates you to be gentle with yourself during hard times.  There is absolutely nothing wrong with feeling sorry for yourself sometimes.  After all, it is evidence of your compassion.  If you can feel sorry for others who hurt, why shouldn’t you offer yourself that same love & compassion? You deserve compassion too!

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Filed under Abuse and the Healing Journey, Christian Topics and Prayers, Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, Mental Health